Saturday, July 28, 2007

I just saw an article from Newsweek, and it made me think a lot about undercover. I also saw Saida down at the U when I was wating for my bus, and I sent her the link. We were both so excited that such mainstream media was doing a positive-themed story about Islamic people. The cover story and special focus of this week's issue is about Islam in the US. It profiled some really interesting Islamic people. Here is the link on the Newsweek website:

Friday, July 27, 2007


You all missed an interesting evening last night at the Walker Art Center's TCYMN screening. (Siblings screened and the audience thought performances by Hannah and Jonah were especially awesome. They got huge laughs and sighs and chattering as people said things like "I remember doing that" or "That is just like my brother!") The films were visually interesting (although the drug addicted suicidal animated pig and the entire film Lyndale & Lake were a little violent for me) and the audience was not business as usual. Apparently the Alliance for Community Media was having a national conference and all these community station owners and producers and stuff were there. As a result the Q & A had really different and rather thought provoking questions. They were a little less interested in personal experiences and more interested in larger issues. One question that stands out was "Do you feel there are enough adequate avenues for local youth media?" I think that as a panel, we agreed that in terms of numbers there was an adequate number of supportive groups but that they all needed more/better funding, technology etc and that instead of starting new groups/programs etc, we would encourage people to become invested in existing organizations and in developing opportunities to screen work. I was the only female filmmaker - and the youngest so it was a little weird for me. In a way, although there were a lot of women in the audience, I felt a little on the spot - like they were taking my answers as being on behalf of all female teen filmakers. So, what do you think about places for youth interested in media to go? How would you have answered if you were there? Are there enough? Are they adequate? And, here's a question of my own that I did not bring up last night ... do we want to settle for adequate?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sorry guys - these will be the last photos from my trip. I just had to share them, though because they are some of my favorites.
This photo my brother and I have dubbed "Bunker Cars." There aren't very many gas stations or autobody shops on the Rez. When cars break down or run out of gas, they are abandonned. Gangs are a HUGE problem on the Rez (along with a life expectany of 47, an unemployment rate of 85%, obesity, poverty, diabetes, inadequate housing and health care, etc etc etc. Studies show that Pine Ridge - in South Dakota!!! - has worse conditions than anywhere in the western hemisphere. Yup. That's right, worse than Venezuala and Guatamala and Colombia and stuff.) and they shot out this car.
The one at the PowWow was underexposed but I love the effect because it captures the feeling of the PowWow without singling out any one dancer. It was like this radiant being who simply rose out of the grass to play on the earth.

I am not going to tell you this boys name or situation on the internet because of privacy but I will say he was amazing and needs lots of thoughts and prayers for his health, safety and sanity. I played with him every morning I was there and loved this photo of him personalizing his T-shirt.

I worked with kids from 3 to 10. All of them are really visual and LOVED cameras and taking pictures and video. Their school just got a grant to put a film developing lab in this summer so it will be fun to see what happens with that.

This is the entry at Wounded Knee. If you don't know about Wounded Knee, you should read about it. It is unbelieveable what happened here. The weird thing is, when you just walk onto the property and get out of the van, you feel heavy. You feel the weight of the sadness and pain. It is a very physical thing there that even people who don't know about the history talk about feeling. Last year, my brother and I rode bareback around Wounded Knee. This year we just explored the individual and mass graves and looked for those people we had read about.

This is the sky and the bell tower of the old church we stayed in. What you can't tell from the photo is that the clouds were like popcorn in the sky. Pine Ridge might be stark but it is beautiful. I have never seen such amazing sky as in Pine RIdge.

Anyway, there is a lot of hope on the Rez, too. There are a lot of outside groups wanting to help. There are a lot of inside groups working to try to ensure the help we give is really helpful, not just a handout. (Teach a man to fish kind of thing.) So, we go and we ask how to help and we do it because it is important. When I talk to people about it, they don't even know that this happens in the US. They don't even know what our Government did and is still doing. Not really. Not the truth of it. And the even sadder thing is, a lot of people don't care. But they should because if you aren't working on fixing the problem, you are part of it and it becomes a problem for all of us. Also, those of you who went to Washington, the group that won the extra grant who were from Deadwood live on this Rez. (or thereabouts.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I took this picture in South Dakota this summer. I was there with a group from my church. The day this was taken the weather turned from blue skys to a downpoor in seconds. When I took this the clouds were finaly clearing up and our rental vans were stuck in 6 inch deep mud and clay.
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Friday, July 20, 2007

Here is a snack that Stasia made for me while I was interviewing her. It has the suggested portions of the different food groups. Does it look palatable? Tasty?

Here are a couple of clips from my first interview with Stasia, one of my nutrition experts. She has something called the "fist method", a suggestion of how to have a healthy and balanced diet. What I want to know is whether this sounds like something you feel that you could try to do -- or is it too demanding? Is having a healthier diet something you want to do? What do you think of the fist method?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So, the other day as Annie, Maddy, Kirsten, the mentors and myself were looking on the web and discussing the new t-shirt style we would like to get for TVbyGIRLS, the group stumbled onto one of my favorite hot topics as of late-- American Apparel. This LA-based clothing company is sweat-shop free and has managed to make cotton t-shirts sexy and cool. Who wouldn't want guilt free trendy clothing like that?

There is one down side (or maybe it's a positive? i can't decide yet!) to American Apparel, though. Their advertising and website is quite honestly, some of the most blatantly sexualized out there. See, the issue at hand is that their clothing is basic, and they put it on regular people. okay, fairly regular people. and then these regular people are photographed being extremely sexy. Now, should we be applauding AA for using real people as models and not size zero stick figures, or should we be screaming our heads off for them over sexualizing and objectifying women (and men!)?

i am seriously torn.

all images (and my new shirts) from

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

I look at this and it is really remarkable. teenage girls, senior women--strangers before and now connected. What does that mean. Connected. Isn't it what we are all looking for--to connect--with people who are like us, people who we are curious about, people who can teach us things, people who make us laugh and feel the best of ourselves.

what images mean connections?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What a great meeting we had today.... Amalia, Annie, Kirsten and Maddy. We covered a lot and also just got to be present in each others lives! So much is ahead, many exciting projects and times together.

So now I ask that you keep this going with insights, visions, quotes, updates and more. More, more, more.
And those of you that did not make it to the meeting or are just reading this to see what we are up to... send us your thoughts, inspirations and ideas!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I would like to put a request out to see how many people are viewing this blog and are interested in participating... So, here is an assignment or mission if you will...
I found this ad on Stephan Spencer's Scatterings blog. He spotted it in the print brochure for the Italian Film Festival a couple years ago.I just can't believe someone said, yeah, okay, let's print this. But tell me, what do you think? How does it make you feel?

And in case you were wondering: "Virtus Communications is a boutique agency providing communications solutions for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands." Their goal? "To get you noticed. Influence behaviour. Lead the way."